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Where does your shy, not such a people-person teen/young adult work? (PT)

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My middle daughter really wants to work but she is super shy and would rather work behind the scenes or with things rather than people-focused/customer service/retail.  What kinds of jobs have your introverts enjoyed PT, preferably while also going to school PT, too?

 

Or...did you tell them to suck it up and just get what they could?  LOL!

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I don't know, but my dd19 has had a hard time working with customers. She's a very sensitive introvert and customer service jobs brought on lots of stress. So I don't think a suck it up buttercup attitude would work. My ds with Aspergers doesn't want to work with customers and has always been a night owl so he works part time in a grocery store stocking shelves over night. It's the perfect job for him right now, but he's not in school. 

 

I hope someone has an idea for your dd.

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Honestly, with a kid like that, I would be really inclined to push the kid specifically towards a people focused/customer service type situation. Specifically for the learning experience.  I mean I wouldn't shove a kid hard cor into some sort of "sink or swim" type of scenario, but I am big into helping my kids learn to push outside of their comfort zone. 

 

ETA: now, if we were talking about a kid who has already TRIED this sort of thing, pushed outside their comfort zone and learned that it really really isn't for them, I would be less inclined to push that way.  But it sounds like we are talking about a kid who is just starting this finding a job thing.  Also, I wouldn't push a kid to continue to be completely miserable in a job that they absolutely loathe.  But generally, I think trying something that scares you is a good thing.

Edited by happysmileylady
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My DD is enjoying her job washing dishes in a cafeteria. She gets to help prep sometimes, but her primary responsibilities are cleaning. She has liked this job the best of any she had had so far.

 

She is currently applying at a local animal shelter where she would mostly be cleaning and assist with the cats some.

 

The past 4-5 summers, she has had jobs that required much more interaction either with customers or co-workers or both. She completed her contracts each time, but she has not wanted to repeat any of them.

Edited by City Mouse

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My dd is not an introvert, but she has a job that would be great for one. She works at a pet rescue. Almost all of their employees are college students. She works alone, walks and feeds the animals, washes the bedding, gives out medicine, etc. She's allowed to bring her school work and do that if she has extra time.

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My introverted DS has been working for a small local business that makes and distributes jewelry making supplies. After working in order fulfilment for a while, he is now the customer service specialist - it's all typed online, no live interaction with people.  

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I was just like you describe your daughter at that age. My first job was in retail. It was hard at first but it was great to get me out of my shell. I went on to do some things I never would have believed I could do.

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I was the same way, but I got my first job at burger king and it worked out I always worked with the same exact people and we all agreed on the type of job we preferred so I never worked at the cash register or drive thru. So my point is a resturaunt might be a good choice if they were hiring someone to work in the back only.

Edited by Elizabeth86

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ups driver helper.   they start hiring sept/oct?   so it's seasonal.  but if he likes it- he can probably get on with the warehouse loading and unloading boxes from trucks. - oh, and while he did encounter some people, they were generally really happy to see a delivery.

 

and all sorts of retailers have "stock" positions where they hardly interact with customers..

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My first job in high school was as a page at my local library. I loved it! It was quiet, I worked alone mostly, reshelving books, reading the shelves (making sure all the books were in the right place). There were a few times when I had to interact with people and get them items they needed that were on reserve, but it was minimal. Being a somewhat socially awkward introvert, I highly recommend it.

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I was shy too. I had a job at a small embroidery shop. We did shirts and hats for local teams and businesses. Most of it was placing orders work, but I did have a few customer interaction times, which involved taking small orders for one or two items.

 

I also waited tables one summer in a chain restaurant. That is extra tough because it is social but you also have to remember a lot...

 

But then in college I began one of those campus tour guides! I loved that job and I mastered walking backwards.

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My daughter does lock up for our church--it's just a few dollars, but pays her cell every month. She pet sat last week for a friend, and made $500. 

My son, who is very shy, had several jobs as a teen, including helping someone with their vending machine route, doing concessions at a movie theater (very challenging, crap job), and working in a UPS store. 

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Not sure I would have called myself 'shy', but definitely an introvert.  I found that any job which had a 'script' was fine.  McDonald's, for example, it was 'Hi, welcome to McDonald's.  Can I take your order?'  And then I was staring at my pad, calculating the order total (70's, all done with pencil and paper).

 

Another good one was working the polls.  The object is clear and you usually work with a couple other people who can step in to help with difficult people.

 

Secretary work was horrible.  They expected me to be able to chit chat back and forth with the people coming through and I hated it.  I was also lousy at it.

 

IOW, I'd look for things with scripted responses and specific duties.

 

Good luck.

 

I agree with this. As another shy introvert, I prefer structured social interaction. Like I do fine hosting my book club, but I don't have casual dinner parties. Book club has a defined structure, a casual party would be much harder for me. I did fine in retail--there's a structured purpose to the interaction. But I probably wouldn't have been a good waitress if I was expected to chat with the customers.

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Panda Express. He started as a dishwasher, then food prep (still included dishwashing) and eventually moved up to cook. He did counter service once or twice but it was not a good fit. Fortunately he had a good manager who recognized this and kept him in the kitchen.

 

My other one isn't shy but  he enjoyed being a stocker at Kroger. There is some customer interaction but not very much--mostly people who want to know which aisle something is in.

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My oldest has had jobs in warehouses. An amazon fulfillment center and a grocery store distribution center. He actually is a people person and these were hard because he didn't have much social interaction. He made good money both places but there was no customer interaction at all and very little interaction with other employees.

 

My next one who is not very friendly (and not always nice, to be honest) worked in a deli. He did work with customers but his favorite thing was washing dishes. He applied for a dishwasher position at a bigger restaurant. He thought he was hired on as a dishwasher but he got there for orientation and they had made him a server. So now my unfriendly, not always nice one is waiting tables. Lol. He actually likes it and is doing pretty well. Both jobs were very good for him and he has grown in confidence and people skills.

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I'm not exactly shy but I'm terribly socially awkward. My best beginner jobs were working as a chamber maid in a high end B&B and working for a big nursery pulling weeds from bedding plants that were about to go out for sale.

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I worked in daycare. Kids are easy. Not a lot of adult socializing unless it's just to talk about the cute thing their kid did.

 

I also worked as an administrative assistant. Depending on the position, there might not be a lot of chit chat interaction, and if there were, it might be for a very specific nature, almost scripted.

 

Food service with a script was easy too.

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My first job in high school was as a page at my local library. I loved it! It was quiet, I worked alone mostly, reshelving books, reading the shelves (making sure all the books were in the right place). There were a few times when I had to interact with people and get them items they needed that were on reserve, but it was minimal. Being a somewhat socially awkward introvert, I highly recommend it.

 

I did the same for all four years of high school and loved it. (And it did help me overcome my shyness a bit, too.)

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My ds is 14 and introverted and shy. He works at McDonalds. They very promptly took stock of his personality and assigned him to work on the grill. He works in the back mostly alone and is pretty pleased with the set up. At busy times, he'll have a coworker or two with him on the grill, but no interaction with customers. None. The managers don't want shy, awkward kids working with the customers. They know their business.

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Introvert here and oddly enough I totally excel at customer service and any service related job....well except waitressing....I wanted to dump plates on customers laps because I hated that job so bad. Overall though I like service work.

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My rather introverted dd (19) has 2 jobs right now.  The current trend here is to hire part time and schedule 8-12 hours/ week.  It is obnoxious.

 

Anyway....

 

The job that she has that would be great for an introvert is at Old Navy.  She is on the stocking crew which means she gets there very early in the morning, opens giant boxes of clothes, sorts them, places them on hangers or folds them into stacks to go on display tables.  Sometimes she gets to dress the mannequins which involves choosing outfits, steaming those outfits to remove any wrinkles, dressing & posing the mannequins.  All of this is done before the store opens.  

 

Her other job is at the movie theater.  It is pretty introvert friendly if she is cleaning theaters or even at the podium taking tickets, but if she works concessions or box office, she comes home exhausted from dealing with people.  On the up side she gets to see movies for free!

 

Amber in SJ

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Mine is processing samples for a lab that test food products for vitamin content for nutritional labeling.  It worked out well since he is going for chemical engineering and has been at times been pulled into the chem lab for basic jobs. Further bonus is the lab is within walking distance of where he goes to school which is important since he doesn't have a driver's license.

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My ds is 14 and introverted and shy. He works at McDonalds. They very promptly took stock of his personality and assigned him to work on the grill. He works in the back mostly alone and is pretty pleased with the set up. At busy times, he'll have a coworker or two with him on the grill, but no interaction with customers. None. The managers don't want shy, awkward kids working with the customers. They know their business.

 

 

Huh, when I worked at McDonalds, it was illegal for under-18's to do most back-end jobs, some grill jobs could be done by 16-18yo. Maybe the laws in your state are different.

 

 

But I agree that working a register at McDonalds isn't too bad for an introvert. You're given a script to use with the customers. You're discouraged from chatting and being too social with your coworkers. I'm a 99% introvert, and spent a lot of successful years at McDonalds and other similar type things and went to school at the same time. It could be exhausting, especially if it was very busy, but it was very good for my social skills.

 

But I did enjoy taking drive thru order the best. And I was really good at it. I got a ton of compliments about how clear my voice sounded through the intercom. Umm, okay, thanks, lol. 

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My ds is 14 and introverted and shy. He works at McDonalds. They very promptly took stock of his personality and assigned him to work on the grill. He works in the back mostly alone and is pretty pleased with the set up. At busy times, he'll have a coworker or two with him on the grill, but no interaction with customers. None. The managers don't want shy, awkward kids working with the customers. They know their business.

 

 

Huh, when I worked at McDonalds, it was illegal for under-18's to do most back-end jobs, some grill jobs could be done by 16-18yo. Maybe the laws in your state are different.

 

 

But I agree that working a register at McDonalds isn't too bad for an introvert. You're given a script to use with the customers. You're discouraged from chatting and being too social with your coworkers. I'm a 99% introvert, and spent a lot of successful years at McDonalds and other similar type things and went to school at the same time. It could be exhausting, especially if it was very busy, but it was very good for my social skills.

 

But I did enjoy taking drive thru order the best. And I was really good at it. I got a ton of compliments about how clear my voice sounded through the intercom. Umm, okay, thanks, lol. 

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When my introverted, quiet, socially anxious DH was a teen, he worked in the backroom at Target. Early shift, like 4am-11am. No customers, especially since the store was closed half of his shift, except for whoever stopped him on his way to the break room to clock out. Perfect for the guy who "failed" the personality test for a job at Taco Bell.

 

Poor guy. Now he's in a career and job that sometimes requires back-to-back meetings all day long. And he has to run some of them. He's pretty much wiped out when he gets home, but handles it fine. Not working a "people job" in high school didn't seem to hinder him, although he'd still prefer to stick his headphones in and work alone.

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My oldest is more extraverted now, but he works on the cleaning and maintenance crew at the gym we go to. He has to coordinate with coworkers and his boss, but he's not on the front desk.

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My middle son is very introverted.  However, in a particular working situation he's fine.  He just needs to know what to do.  He is very task oriented.  He supervises a store at a marina among other things.  So if he's ringing up a purchase, he knows what to do.  If he's renting a boat or a bike etc the situation is already set up in a way, so he doesn't have to make up small talk.  There are definite things that need to be communicated.  So he's actually done very well there.  It has really helped him come out of his shell.

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I was a pretty shy introvert in high school and I got a job in retail. I worked at an amusement park in one of the shops and one time worked at a fabric store. I actually liked both jobs. It helped that I didn't have to go up to people and initiate conversations. They all came to me and I had a specific reason for conversation.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My introvert got a job working with younger students in an activity dc had been in for many years. I've seen this a lot - athletics, fine arts, chess, science clubs, etc.

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My oldest is that type - anxious/OCD(on meds)/introvert - and her first job was at a local bakery - selling/cash register. We pretty much forced her to do it - she was 17 and had too much free time on her hands and we wanted her to have some real-world experience before college. It was actually very good for her. She worked hard and earned a raise - her boss told her that he liked the way she worked! In college she worked other jobs like that - Macys, etc. and she never liked them but she managed. After college she worked as a receptionist and also teaching Mommy&Me type classes, which she preferred.

 

Now she works full-time as a research assistant and hopes that she will never have to go back to that kind of front-end work. But it was quite an achievement for her that she was able to do it successfully for several years!

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My middle daughter really wants to work but she is super shy and would rather work behind the scenes or with things rather than people-focused/customer service/retail.  What kinds of jobs have your introverts enjoyed PT, preferably while also going to school PT, too?

 

Or...did you tell them to suck it up and just get what they could?  LOL!

 

Actually, there is definitely some of this, because it can be difficult for teens just to get that first job.  I've focused on my dc's genuine interests, and helped them find situations where they could do what they loved. The social interactions related to that interest need to be developed and strengthened anyway, if they want to pursue a career in that area.

 

My quiet, animal-loving dd started a pet sitting business, and volunteered in an animal sanctuary. She also plays violin, and got a job teaching violin to children and youth. She loves the one-on-one interaction, and it also learning to interact with the parents. This summer she had the confidence to work in a summer camp while learning French. It's been amazing so see her confidence grow.

 

My ds enjoys theatre, and last summer he got an apprenticeship with a summer professional theatre company. He worked Front of House (ticket sales and concession), and loved the environment and his co-workers. The job helped him realize that theatre, though really fun, was not the career he wanted to pursue. The experience he got at Front of House will be really useful in future jobs. He's having a challenging time getting a job at the moment because he's only 15. He is doing a couple small businesses this summer of pet sitting (while dd is in Quebec) and tennis racquet stringing. I think when he hits the magic age of 16 a lot more opportunities will open up. 

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I'm an introvert and my favorite job as a teen was working for a cleaning business. The houses we cleaned were mostly second homes that were only used on the weekends, so we would clean during the week when the houses were empty.

 

My least favorite jobs were waitressing and being a receptionist at a large accounting firm. I had to answer the phone all day long, and I hate talking on the phone.

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Ds20 has worked for a landscaping company for the last two summers. He works on a crew of 4, usually with the same guys. For most of this summer, it's been with an 18-year-old, that guy's father, and another older guy. It's a nice balance for him -  he gets some casual conversation with the other guys, some working together, and some independent work - and he doesn't have to deal directly with the clients. 

 

 

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DD who has anxiety will probably be looking for a job at one of the local grocery stores, she'd prefer and pretty much only be willing to do stocking type stuff.  Other than that I'm as stumped for ideas as anyone else.  Everywhere I go I look for teens and possible opportunities but while there are a ton of jobs in our area there's not much that doesn't involve extensive customer service.

 

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DD17 is an online video game broadcaster until Monday when she heads off to college.

 

When she was about 7 or 8, someone told us to put her in an acting class to help her manage her shyness. So, online she is a vibrant character. Offline she is her subdued, quiet self.

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Huh, when I worked at McDonalds, it was illegal for under-18's to do most back-end jobs, some grill jobs could be done by 16-18yo. Maybe the laws in your state are different.

 

 

But I agree that working a register at McDonalds isn't too bad for an introvert. You're given a script to use with the customers. You're discouraged from chatting and being too social with your coworkers. I'm a 99% introvert, and spent a lot of successful years at McDonalds and other similar type things and went to school at the same time. It could be exhausting, especially if it was very busy, but it was very good for my social skills.

 

But I did enjoy taking drive thru order the best. And I was really good at it. I got a ton of compliments about how clear my voice sounded through the intercom. Umm, okay, thanks, lol.

 

I live in a small town, so things are different here. At 14, my son cannot dip things into the fryers, but he can take them out and he cannot go into the walk in freezer. He has to wear a red hat until he's 16, when he'll get a black hat like everyone else.

 

My nephew and goddaughter who live about 50 miles south in a very busy suburb to a major city couldn't even think about getting jobs until they were 16, and then it was hard for them to find them.

 

My guy walked in, was shy and awkward on the interview, and was hired on the spot. We found out later that 100% of the times that someone is interviewed, they are always hired. Even at 14. It's different in small towns where there isn't much competition. There aren't that many people applying around here. He started out with only about 4 or 5 hours of work a week, but was soon bumped up to 20. I had to put my foot down and say that he can't work more than 10 hours a week during the school year, because he was running out of time to work on his school work.

Edited by Garga

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My 15yo is a lifeguard. Doesn't pay great, but she cannot interact when she's on duty since she's supposed to be watching swimmers. She loves it

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My favorite entry job was cash office - glorious little private room (with only a camera-no coworkers) for half my shift. Worst was receptionist because I hate talking on the phone and answering weird questions.

 

Like others have said, if I have a script, I am good with customer interactions. If there is no script/prescribed interaction or the customer goes off script, I get all flustered.  

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Wow, great ideas!!  Thank you all for sharing your kids' experiences.  This dd is going to be studying computer programming or some such so she knows that she will not end up in a customer service oriented job.  Right now she's babysitting at our church for a women's group with her more extroverted sister and she's not having a great time.  She does love the kids for the most part but it wears her down quite a bit--I'm the same, actually.  lol

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